Who Will Be Relegated From The Premier League This Season?

A lot can change in one season in the Premier League, where only around a third of teams can really be considered safe from relegation at the start of the season.

Even Burnley, who finished seventh last year, have been tipped by many to go down this time around. So where is the smart money going on the Premier League’s survival scrappers, and who should you pick out as a surprise candidate for the drop?

The New Boys

The teams coming up from the Championship are usually the favourites to bounce straight back down, but this year is a little different.

Wolves, who came up as champions, have strengthened their squad with a whole host of European talents, and their opening game against Everton suggested that they are more than comfortable at this level. Ruben Neves, who anchors the team’s midfield, is a real talent, while new faces Leander Dendoncker and Adama Traore will add some physicality and flair to the team. There are questions marks in defence, but they have the quality to push for a top-half finish.

Fulham, promoted via the play-off last year, enjoyed a similar spending spree this summer. They signed Aleksander Mitrovic on a permanent deal, and his form at Craven Cottage last year suggests that he’ll provide the target man that every bottom-half club needs. Despite an opening day loss, captain Tom Cairney and new arrival Jean-Michael Seri looked comfortable in midfield, and Fulham haven’t compromised on their attractive, free-flowing style of play.

Cardiff City, however, look to be in far more trouble. Premier League betting has them as favourites for the drop, and a squad made up mostly of Championship players will have a hard time proving that logic wrong.

AFC Bournemouth

Many neutrals have a soft spot for the seaside club who play attacking football, but Bournemouth’s impressive spell in the top flight could be in danger of ending this year. Midfielder Jefferson Lerma was the only big name to sign this summer, and the team found themselves in a relegation fight for much of last season. Much will depend on the health of frontman Callum Wilson, who gives the team a strong point of attack when he’s on the pitch, and the form of Josh King, whose pace can cause problems when he’s on his day.

Burnley

They’re a surprise name on this list, given their incredible success last season. But Sean Dyche’s defensive mode of football, which frustrated even big teams last year, will be harder to maintain for a second consecutive term as teams figure out how to unpick the back line. The side is also missing creativity in attack, an area which they weren’t able to strengthen over the summer, so they could be a clever dark horse pick for relegation this season.

Teams like Newcastle, Watford, Brighton and Huddersfield are likely to find themselves in a scrap and are many people’s favourites to go down, but anything can happen in the Premier League – and a team free-falling into a relegation battle is very possible indeed.

Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez Needs A Goal ASAP

Alexis Sanchez won’t admit it but Chile’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup was probably a blessing in disguise.

The forward hadn’t had a proper summer off in the past nine years, so his break before this year’s preseason would’ve been like a dream come true for the twenty-nine year old.

In Manchester United’s opening Premier League game against Leicester City; Sanchez looked fitter, fresher and hungrier as The Red Devils managed to beat The Foxes by a 2-1 scoreline.

Yet the Chilean still didn’t look to be at his dominant, dangerous best. In truth, it’s taken him a bit of time to settle in at Old Trafford.

Sanchez, on the most part, has been played in his favoured left-wing position since his arrival from Arsenal in January, yet he hasn’t really thrived since his move.

In total, Alexis has featured in nineteen games and in those he’s just scored three times and created three assists. Those aren’t the kind of numbers Man United and their fans were expecting from a potential game changer.

Now the hope is that the extended holiday will help, and of course it should, but there’s another factor Sanchez has to overcome.

The forward needs to get his mojo back and find his confidence. A goal early on in this campaign could be just the ticket.

He needs to get a spark that boosts his morale and has him believing in himself again.

If he can continue his decent start to the season and build on it with a goal or two, then that could give him the belief that he can step up and become the superstar that the United fans having been craving for.

It was telling that the forward really wanted to take the penalty that United captain Paul Pogba eventually took and scored. It shows you that Sanchez had a desire to get on the scoresheet and it might also tell us that he believes that he needs to do it sooner rather than later this term.

His boss Jose Mourinho managed to excuse Alexis for his slowness in adapting to the United way but he also stated that he expects better from his player this term:

“I’m not a big fan of the winter market because the players are coming in the middle of the season and it is not easy for them to adapt.

“So I think after a few months with us, now to start the season I think it is a perfect moment for him to establish himself as an important player for us.”

The Man United number seven clearly has the ability and he’s now reaching peak fitness again, so if he can rediscover his world class creative talents then I’d be expecting him to take games by the scruff of the neck and to cause havoc in the opposition’s half.

If Alexis Sanchez can reach top form at Old Trafford, then Manchester United could challenge for major titles again.

But the attacker needs to get back amongst the goals first!

Rangers Midfielder Lassana Couilbaly Is Quickly Becoming A Fans Favourite

It hasn’t taken Mali international Lassana Coulibaly long to settle in at Rangers and the midfielder is already fast becoming a hero to the Ibrox faithful.

The twenty-two year old arrived on loan from Angers this summer and has impressed with the amount of energy and hard work he puts in during the ninety minutes. If the Scottish Premiership club haven’t got an option to buy the midfielder put into the deal with their Ligue 1 counterparts, then they’ve really missed a trick.

New Gers boss Steven Gerrard clearly knew what he was getting, as he raved about the player after signing him in the summer:

“Coulibaly is a destroyer type midfielder, he is very different to what he have here. I have watched him numerous times and he breaks play up and keeps it simple. He will add a bit of power in the engine room for us.”

His excitement for Coulibaly certainly hasn’t dampened as he continues to impress in Rangers opening games of the campaign:

“He’s ahead of where I thought he would be at this time.”

“Realistically he is still in pre-season in terms of match fitness, sharpness and game time.

“So we believe there is still more to come. But he has found his consistency and the fans are buying into him.

“As a player, when you play for a crowd as passionate as the Rangers crowd, if you empty the tank for them, and give everything you have possibly got in your body when you cross the white line, they are going come with you.”

Gerrard’s right, The Gers support have bought into Lassana and they love his passion and endeavour. He’s the type of player that gives his all for the full match and Rangers have been calling out for that kind of midfielder for a few years now!

The player seems to pop up everywhere. He’ll do is upmost to track back when the opposition have the ball and he’s very handy at winning it back for his team. He’s also good with the ball at his feet, his close control and dribbling technique means he can transition play from defence to attack very effectively indeed.

Coulibaly is, as I’ve already suggested, extremely athletic and that allows him to get out quickly and make tackles and interceptions. As soon as his opponent has the ball, it seems to be that The Gers dynamic midfielder is on top of him and inevitably winning the ball. He’s also smart enough to fill in, if the full-back on his side gets caught out of position.

The midfielder can even break forward and get himself on the score-sheet as he showed in last week’s Europa League win over Maribor at Ibrox. He ran into the box and nodded the ball home, showing us that he’s decent in the air too. For confirmation of that he scored this great header for Angers last season:

The Rangers fans have really taken to him, with one in particular (@CoulibalyCartel) practically tweeting Lassana’s every move on the pitch.

But he isn’t the only one, search Lassana Coulibaly on Twitter and you’ll be bombarded with tweets from Gers fans praising the new midfield general.

Steven Gerrard has hinted that Lassana’s all action type performances may be taking it’s toll as he’s still to reach maximum fitness. That probably means that the Malian will be rested for the club’s League Cup tie this Sunday.

It’s hard to think that the player can give any more and can still improve but that’s clearly what his manager expects and that’s brilliant news for his teammates and the fans.

It’ll be interesting to see if the battling midfielder can carry on like this for the rest of the season. The games against Celtic will be the real acid test, in the past few years the Premiership champions and in particular Scott Brown have bossed the midfield area in Old Firm games.

Can Lassana Coulibaly break that stranglehold and really send Rangers fans into dreamland? Well that’s the hope.

Can Maurizio Sarri Get Even More Out Of N’Golo Kante At Chelsea?

When you look at the work and the ground covered by N’Golo Kante, then it’s hard to think that any manager could wish to try and get more out of the midfielder.

Not since Claude Makelele have we seen such a disciplined holding player that relishes spoiling other team’s fun and giving the ball to his talented teammates.

Yet new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri actually wants to see World Cup winner Kante push himself further by getting higher up the field.

The unassuming player himself confirmed as much:

‘Yes it’s a new manager and a new system,’  

‘I play a little bit more forward and I will give my best in this position for the team and I hope we can keep doing good things for the future.’

 

In the Italian coach’s first game in charge, Sarri didn’t deploy N’Golo at the base of his midfield or marshalling in front of The Blues defence. Kante played to the right of new boy Jorginho in a three man midfield, with Ross Barkley filling in on the other side (a role that Mateo Kovacic will no doubt take).

When you look at the French international’s heat-map you’ll see he stuck to his new task diligently, as you’d expect from such a reliable performer. He stayed on the right and was mainly playing inside the opponent’s half.

Against Belgium, during the World Cup semi-final match, he sat and protected his backline and hardly touched the ball inside the opponent’s end of the field. So to see him playing as much as he did in The Terriers’ half was quite something.

Maurizio quite clearly believes that the midfielder can work well in that role and you can see why. Kante is disciplined, he does work hard for the team, he can pass the ball, is intelligent, takes instruction and he’s also very athletic.

It’s funny but the twenty-seven year old can actually learn again from Makelele, when it comes to shifting positions.

Everyone talks about the holding role that Claude perfected, it was then named after him after all. But they forget that he started life as a winger and then moved to become an attacking central midfielder at Deportivo La Coruna before moving back as a defensive mid at Real Madrid. Again he showed that with good levels of discipline, intelligence and a strong work ethic that you can adapt and move around the pitch.

Kante had an 84% passing success rate, still won tackles and made two interceptions in the opening Premier League fixture. He topped off his day, playing in his more advanced role, by grabbing the club’s opening goal in their 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town. He timed his run well and scored from inside the box, showing us that Sarri was right when the coach placed faith in Kante to play in that position.

Now obviously when the tougher games arrive, you’ll then probably see more of N’Golo Kante’s defensive expertise but it could be a fascinating season as the year goes on if Maurizio Sarri continues to evolve the player’s style.

I for one, believe that he will excel in whatever role Sarri plays him in as Kante really is that good!

The Board, Brendan And Boyata All To Blame For Celtic’s Greek Tragedy

Celtic were dumped out of the Champions League last night, after losing 2-1 to AEK Athens in Greece.

To most Celtic fans and observers of Scottish football, they weren’t overly surprised by the outcome. Mainly because The Hoops have the same flaws that they’ve had for many years now.

I think that the board, the club’s manager Brendan Rodgers and defender Dedryck Boyata have to accept that they were largely responsible for the side’s exit from Europe’s elite club competition before the lucrative group stages.

THE BOARD

Probably for the last ten years I’ve been critical of the way Celtic do their transfer business.

Now they have a very good scouting system and have brought in some extremely talented players in recent years but they continue to bring in new signings later on in the window. They basically try and hold off until they’ve qualified for the Champions League group stage.

This summer they’ve only brought in three players, two of which just joined the Hoops in the last week.

They broke their transfer record to bring in Odsonne Edouard earlier in the summer, but that’s mainly down to the fact that they had already agreed a negotiated fee with PSG for the striker and had they waited longer the fee could’ve risen. The other new arrival is old boy Emilio Izaguirre, the thirty-two year old Honduran returns to provide back up for Kieran Tierney at left-back.

That business hasn’t been good enough for the Scottish champions.

Anyone and everyone could’ve told you that the Glasgow giants needed another experienced centre-back and a right-back to strengthen the defence, which has been the club’s weakest-link for while now. Yet Celtic have hardly been linked with any new defensive recruits in recent weeks.

They lost in Athens, not because AEK were a much better team, but because they were hopeless at the back and couldn’t defend simple balls into their penalty area.

Why haven’t the board come out and backed their manager? 

Look at the John McGinn transfer.

Celtic made a couple of bids and they fell well short of Hibs valuation of the midfielder. Celtic’s board decided to sit back and thought they could wait and get him to sign a pre-contract agreement in January. Then Aston Villa swooped, made an offer acceptable to Hibs and suddenly the player was on his way to Birmingham. Celtic then matched the bid but by that time they were too late and the Scottish international star decided to sign for the English Championship side. The board were too cautious/arrogant and not ambitious enough and that cost them one of Rodgers’ top targets.

After last night’s defeat Rodgers stated:

“(the club had to) always guard against becoming complacent”.

“You do that by adding to the squad,”

“It’s pretty obvious, you have to keep progressing and keep getting stronger.”

The board have been complacent and they need to answer fans question as to why they were so slow in the transfer market this summer?

They now need to convince the manager that they can meet his ambitions, if they can’t then he’ll look elsewhere and that Celtic fans will turn on the board!

BRENDAN RODGERS

While I have sympathies for Brendan on having to deal with an ultra cautious board, the manager has to accept that he too has to be held accountable for the club’s Champions League exit.

Has the defence really improved under the current boss? Has any defender, bought during his tenure, arrived and improved the team? I really don’t think so.

Rodgers is very much about playing possession football and an exciting attacking game. That’s fine, on the most part, when it comes to dominating the Scottish game but it can come undone in Europe. The manager doesn’t have a Plan B that involves seeing games out and turning to backs to the wall type defending.

In the last two seasons under Rodgers, Celtic’s footballing philosophy and expansive game saw them suffer from heavy defeats to Barcelona, PSG, Bayern Munich and Zenit St Petersburg. They’ve also lost games to Lincoln Red Imps, Astana, Anderlecht, Hapoel Be’er Sheva and Borussia Monchengladbach.

There should be a time when you close up shop to gain a positive result.

A stubborn manager can often lead to his team’s downfall and Brendan is essentially still making mistakes at Celtic that he made previously at Liverpool.

DEDRYCK BOYATA 

The Belgian defender clearly wants to leave Celtic Park this month, his agent will tell any hack or any potential suitor as much.

Boyata had a good World Cup, has only twelve months left on his current deal and interest is said to be high. So I can understand why he’d want to leave for a new challenge. Yet as far as I can see Dedryck hasn’t handed in a transfer request and, in truth, he should’ve told the club he wanted to leave as soon as his World Cup adventure finished.

But until Celtic agree to sell him, then he’s a club employee and has to honour his contract.

His agent came out this week with a thinly veiled threat, suggesting that the player won’t play for the club:

“Dedryck cannot put his future and his family’s future in danger by playing without being 100 per cent. On January 1, he will sign elsewhere by being free, without reporting anything to Celtic.”

That’s a ridiculously unprofessional statement. It was followed up upon by Boyata failing to fly out with the rest of the squad for their huge European encounter.

His absence in Athens raised more than just a few eyebrows and many a Celtic supporter felt he’d downed tools. The player denied this:

“Unfortunately, I could not play because I’m not yet 100% operational,”

Brendan Rodgers would counter this by telling reporters in Greece:

“But yes, Dedryck would have been fit to play.”

Basically The Hoops boss has called the player out. Interestingly Boyata said he wasn’t 100% but his agent also said that he couldn’t play at even 95% to protect his future.

Now here’s the thing Dedryck, you’ve been very rarely fit at Celtic. In fact you’ve missed 56 games due to injury since you arrived in 2015!

Yet your manager, your teammates and the club’s fans have backed you and supported you during those tough times. The club always paid your wages and secure that future your agent is so desperate to protect now. They gave you the platform to shine and win your place in the Belgian World Cup squad.

To turn down the chance to play for Celtic in the Champions League is a disgrace and it will impact on your reputation.

What serious buyer wants to sign a player that turns his back on those that have helped him?

 

Celtic Should Dump Dedryck Boyata This Summer!

I don’t mind agents trying to do their best by their client, especially if that player only has twelve months left on their current deal.

But Dedryck Boyata’s agent hasn’t really done that this summer, in my opinion.

The Belgian defender had a very decent World Cup and has had plenty of interest in him on that back of those good performances. His agent claims that Celtic have failed to live up to certain ‘promises’ and that the Scottish Premiership champions have also rejected, or sat on, various bids for the defender.

He followed it up by saying:

“It’s strange, because on the other hand, the club apparently does not have the money to make Dedryck a dignified new contract proposal.”

Now what Boyata’s agent, Mr Jacques Lichtenstein, fails to mention is that Celtic are perfectly within their right to hold onto the player for another year. In fact, the Glasgow club could be extremely petty and let the twenty-seven year old rot in the reserves for a season, thus making Jacques job in flogging his player harder next summer.

The agent should’ve played the whole thing differently and made things clear from the start.

After the World Cup, he could have wheeled Boyata out to do an interview with the Belgian press saying that he’s loved his time at Celtic but he feels the time is right for a new challenge and that he’s not interested in signing a new deal.

Going public after the English Premier League transfer window shuts is just bizarre because it restricts your clients chances of earning big bucks in the filthy rich English top flight.

It actually makes people wonder if Mr Lichtenstein is coming out now in a desperate bid to flush out potential buyers, who may or may not be interested.

For Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers, it’s a headache he doesn’t need and he’ll now ask himself if he can trust the player.

The Hoops could’ve done with the centre-back against Hearts last weekend and they could certainly be doing with him tonight as they face AEK Athens, away in Greece, in a make or break Champions League second leg qualifying tie.

Boyata has declared himself unfit and not able to play, due to a hamstring problem. Now the problem with that is that a significant amount of Celtic supporters won’t believe him after his agent’s recent outburst to the media.

Some of the fanbase could see it as the player throwing his toys out of the pram.

Although the twenty-seven year old has come out to state that is definitely not fit:

“Unfortunately, I could not play because I’m not yet 100% operational,”

With only twelve months on his contract, Celtic would be better off just selling the central defender if they get a reasonable offer in for his services. I’d also demand that Boyata hand in a transfer request and forfeit any loyalty clause that he may be due.

If Celtic get around £7m-£8m for Dedryck, then they could easily find an adequate replacement and one that will at least want to play for the club.

In truth, Boyata hasn’t been the most reliable of players during his time at Celtic Park. The Belgian international has suffered from various injuries during his time in Scotland and missed around 56 games for The Hoops due to injury issues. Then it always takes Dedryck time to get back to full fitness and when he’s back in the starting eleven he’ll go through a few games that are erratic to say the least.

Make a profit from the former Manchester City man and bring in a committed centre-half, that would be my advice.

Where To Find to Find Today’s Football Betting Tips

Sometimes betting on football can be a frustrating business, so we have looked around the internet for some help and found ourselves some football betting tips for free.

The optimum day to place bets amongst football fans is a Saturday because that is when the most football fixtures take place, however there is the chance to win bets on any day of the week with the amount of football taking place around the world.

There is nothing stopping you picking your own footy bets, but sometimes you just don’t have the time to study the form, and that is where we need to get some help looking for today’s football betting tips. The guys that Thatsagoal.com update their website every day with bets and it takes the hassle out of researching the days fixtures to place our bets.

Land the odds with a football bet tip of the day

People want to win money when betting, it’s as simple as that. Whether you pick one team to win to try and double your money, or you go for an accumulator to try and turn a few quid into hundreds, it’s all the same idea – you need to win the bet.

The Premier League is the biggest league in the world and also one of the most popular to bet on. Bet on the EPL of a weekend and the midweek Champions League matches and you’ve got the perfect chances to snap up free football betting tips of the day. Weekend betting will always be the most popular, but a Tuesday night is regularly full of fixtures and there are endless opportunities to try and land the odds.

Should I pay for football betting tips?

There is no need to pay for tips, especially if you are a football fan anyway. When you’re picking bets, you are doing exactly what the tipsters are doing – looking at the matches and selecting which teams you think will win. We wouldn’t recommend paying for tips, instead just use one of the free football betting tips of the day websites such as Thatsagoal. All of their content is free and it means you can pick and choose which bets you place and which you leave alone.

Each day there are a variety of different bets available from them including accumulator and both teams to score bets, plus match previews of every major footy fixture. You will be spoilt for choice, and it’s all free. The content on their site is probably better than most paid websites you find and you’re not required to part with £10 or £15 per month just to get football tips that you’d get for free somewhere else.

What is the best football league to bet on?

The guys at Thatsagoal pick matches from various leagues but the Premier League will always be the most popular for the day to day punter. However, there is money to be made from betting on the lower leagues such as the English Championship, League One and League Two. There are many more competitive matches in these leagues but that just means you get better betting odds for your selections. If you’re looking for tips on football betting today, give the lower leagues a try and see if you can pick a winner.

You might never look at the Football League the same again!

Despite A Tough Start Arsenal New Boy Matteo Guendouzi Still Looks A Gem

Matteo Guendouzi probably wouldn’t have chosen to play Manchester City, if he could have handpicked his opponents for his Arsenal debut, but alas fate decided that it was indeed the English top flight champions that the French teenager had to face on the first outing in the Premier League.

Man City didn’t demolish the Gunners as they did in Arense Wenger’s last term at the Emirates but they still cruised to a 2-0 victory over Unai Emery’s men in North London.

Youngster Matteo didn’t have a perfect game; he couldn’t stop Raheem Sterling from scoring in the fourteenth minute, he also allowed Sergio Aguero to break free on goal (thankfully the Argentine striker couldn’t score) and his passing success rate wasn’t the best at just 80%.

Yet these faults actually brought out a few positives in the midfielder.

The nineteen year old didn’t allow his head to drop, even after a mistake or two. He continued to show for the ball, make a tasty tackle and he even had a voice and would speak up for himself.

To get straight back up after being knocked down, is a great attribute to have in any player and to be honest older teammates like Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka should take a leaf out of Guendouzi’s book.

Fans will accept a couple of mistakes, as long as they see the footballer earnestly doing his bit to make up for that mistake. They don’t want to see the player have a sulk or go into hiding.

The fact new Gunners boss Emery decided to bring off the more experienced Xhaka instead of the tenacious Matteo shows you the belief the manager has in his young new signing and the gutsy character that the holding midfielder clearly has.

Defensively Guendouzi did some things really well. He was eager and energetic; making four tackles, four interceptions and one clearance. Having fellow new boy Luca Torreira in beside him in the engine room could be a big help, as at times Granit Xhaka seems very lost as a defensive midfielder.

Emery was quick to praise the youngster:

‘It’s his first match here in the Premier League.’

‘He has personality and quality and if he is on the pitch he is improving very quickly.’

 

Listen Matteo Guendouzi is going to make mistakes at Arsenal in his maiden season. Last season the Frenchman was playing his trade in Ligue 2, that jump in quality is massive.

Unai Emery has to protect him and at times that might mean that he has to come out and watch from the sidelines at certain points of the campaign.

But the initial signs are good and show that the teenager could be a star in the making for Arsenal!

 

Rangers Boss Steven Gerrard Has Given Alfredo Morelos His Self Belief Back

Towards the end of last season, Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos looked very jaded and his confidence was shot!

That clearly impacted on his performances as the goals dried up and he was missing more and more guilt edged chances as he snatched at opportunities.

Press speculation linking him with a big money move seemed to unsettle him in January, as did the continual changes to the Gers backroom team. Plus what some people forget is that the young Colombian hadn’t had any time off in the past eighteen months before this summer.

That break before preseason has certainly helped the forward as has the arrival of new Gers gaffer Steven Gerrard.

The English manager made it quite clear early on that he wanted to keep Alfredo and that he thought he had a big talent that could lead the line at Ibrox:

“We love the player. The fans love the player. He’s a goal scorer. We know what he can add to this team and squad.”

Gerrard continued to praise the hitman after El Bufalo scored the winner against Croatian side Osijek in the Europa League:

“We’re very happy with him,”  

“His application and his work-rate in training, on and off the pitch, has been superb. And I think he got his reward tonight for that. I thought his performance was selfless. He ran his socks off for the team.”

The fact that Steven Gerrard has trusted Morelos and continued to start him has given the striker a morale boost and he has rewarded his manager’s faith by scoring three times in his opening seven games of the season.

Morelos has also added to his game since he arrived in Glasgow from HJK Helsinki in 2017.

His link-up play has improved dramatically. He can hold it up and bring others into the game, that has become more evident under Stevie’s influence as the other players are quicker at getting in and around their main forward.

Under his new boss, the Colombian youth intentional also seems to be a lot fitter and he’s once again enjoying his football and looking a real threat inside the box.

As we already knew from last season, Alfredo can be lethal when an opportunity presents it’s self.

Today against newly promoted St Mirren, Morelos scored his first Scottish Premiership goal of the campaign. He was played through in on goal after a mistake from The Buddies defence. He didn’t panic and although his shot wasn’t the sweetest, the twenty-two year old kept his effort on target and it hit the back of the net.

As well as being an instinctive finisher on the deck, the attacker is also good with his head and that can be a vital attribute to a solo striker in Scotland.

Now he was lucky to get his red card rescinded after he was sent off after twelve minutes against Aberdeen during the opening league game of season, last week.

I do believe that he gets picked on by opponents, who do their best to wind Alfredo up and they’ll also go out and try and physically intimidate the frontman. While I think that referees should be quicker in spotting such spoiling tactics and do more to protect the young forward, Morelos also has to keep calm under that kind of provocation and not lose his temper. Gerrard will no doubt hope to channel that aggression and tell his forward to take his chances as that will shut the opponents up!

Hopefully Alfredo Morelos’ upturn form continues as he’s fitter, happier and working harder. His endeavour and appetite has returned and I believe that a lot of that is down to the fact that his manager believes in him!

Milner & Roberston Show Liverpool Have Balance Between Hard Work & Flair

It didn’t take Liverpool long to get back into the swing of things in the Premier League as they enjoyed a 4-0 home win over West Ham United in the opening weekend.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were goalscorers again. Roberto Firmino was a creative spark once more, while new boy Naby Keita settled in perfectly well in the midfield three. Centre-back Virgil van Dijk gave is usual calm and collected performance and new goalkeeper Alisson wasn’t troubled on his debut.

But for all the attacking greatness and flair that The Reds showed today at Anfield, you have to applaud the hard work that James Milner and Andrew Robertson put in during the ninety minutes.

You have to have balance within your team and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has that balance in his side because of the work ethic and energy the likes of Milner and Robertson bring to the game.

Milner just seems to get younger instead of older. He may now be thirty-two years of age but the veteran seemed to cover every blade of grass for his team. He’d work hard to get back and help his defence and then in the next turn on play he would be bursting forward and doing is best to support the attack.

The Englishman can stick his foot in and win the ball back, plus he’s also very composed and able to find a pass under heavy pressure.

Robertson took a wee bit of time to settle in at Merseyside in his debut term last season but he didn’t look back after cementing his place in the team after Christmas, helping Liverpool to a top four finish and to a Champions League place.

He has worked on his defensive duties and continues to improve on that front. Going forward, he’s one of the best at delivering a fine ball in from the left.

Neither were at this summer’s World Cup and that rest probably helped their high energy levels for this opening encounter but they’re extremely committed and determined characters who would have been ready for the occasion no matter what.

The duo also managed to help the team’s cause by creating an assist each.

Robertson had a terrific run down the left flank, his overlap took him in behind The Hammers defence and then his ball was inch perfect for Salah to tap in the first goal of the afternoon.

The Scottish international also had a hand in the second strike. He steered a cross to the back post, in truth it was a ball many a player might have given up on but not James Milner, who cut it back for Mane to put the chance into the back of the net!

Milner gave a man of the match award winning performance. The midfielder had a 93% passing success rate, making 103 passes in total and three of those were key passes.

Robertson made two tackles during the game and won an interception too. He constantly looked to get down the left channel and that was a great outlet for his teammates.

If The Reds are really going to challenge for the main titles during this campaign then obviously the star players will need to be scoring and creating. But Klopp will also need consistent performers that will give their all for the shirt and he has them in Andrew Robertson and James Milner!